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tv   Deutsche Welle European Journal  LINKTV  May 1, 2014 7:30am-8:01am PDT

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♪ >> hello and a very warm welcome to "european journal" coming to you from dw studios in brussels. it's very good to have you with us. here's a look at what's coming up at the next half-hour. ancient treasures -- what to do with the gold from crimea. inspired autonomy -- why northern italians want to be independent. an abortion ban -- a controversial new law in spain. first up, ukraine.
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developments in the east of the country are currently dominating world headlines while the tug-of-war over crimea seems to have retreated into the background. the peninsula, which was annexed by russia last month, was not even a topic of discussion at the recent peace talks in geneva. positions simply differ too much, but the inhabitants of crimea are faced with a lot of uncertainty as far as their everyday lives are concerned. which schoolbooks will pupils have an future, for example. which national league will be crimea in football clubs play and? who will supply the land with electricity? curators of a museum are concerned about the antique gold treasure, which they lent out to a museum in amsterdam. the precious pieces were supposed to have been returned. >> they were mysterious people,
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nomadic horsemen. they had no writing, left no written legacy, but they did leave fabulous treasures, magnificent garments, and skillfully worked vessels for the knowledge is -- for archaeologists to find in burial mounds. the citizens carved out their mound on the steps north of the black sea. a traveling exhibition of crimean artifacts has landed in amsterdam, and right in the middle of the ukrainian-russian conflict. >> we've got a problem with the items on loan. legal experts are considering who the objects' legitimate owners are and who we should return them to. we are hoping it will all turn out all right, but feelings are already running high. >> most of the items are on loan
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. the palace museum sent priceless treasures, the pride of its collection. >> the exhibition currently touring europe is made of 1240 pieces, undoubtedly the best and most beautiful objects we have here in our national archaeological inventory. >> but who are the items' rightful owners? the museums of the russian-occupied crimea, or the ukrainian state? the cultural ministry in kiev has made it clear -- ukraine has no intention of surrendering the treasure. >> after the exhibition closes, as we see it, given the
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president -- present difficult situation, the objects should definitely be sent to kiev so they will be under the jurisdiction of ukraine, and unesco ought to supervise the return. >> amsterdam is nowhere near crimea, but suddenly, it is in the midst of the conflict. its legal system has yet to reach a conclusion on the legal ownership of the treasure and who it should be handed over to. the visitors book at the museum in amsterdam is filling up with comments both for and against returning the items to crimea, with both sides about even. >> you can read an exhibition of great cultural value. please give it back to the people it belongs to, not the russian intruders." but there are pro-russian comments as well.
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>> the centerpiece of the exhibition is on loan direct from the historical museum in kiev. it also has several pieces of syrian gold and its collection -- it also has several pieces of gold in its collection. the museum curator is convinced the items from crimea are ukrainian property. >> the items ought to remain in ukraine until the situation in crimea has called down -- calmed down. that would be a way to resolve the situation peacefully. >> many shared this view. >> it's my opinion that every object that was found in ukraine and every single exhibit should be returned to ukraine. >> they could talk to the netherlands. the european union supports us. i think the exhibits should come here to us in kiev.
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>> in this splendid palace, there's little sign of the conflict, but to the museum director, it is all too real. when she sent the treasure to europe on loan, crimea had not split from ukraine. now she is afraid she will never see her collection again. >> if the pieces do not come back to us in the museum, it would be an enormous tragedy, a loss for the entire crimea. >> crimea has been a crossroads for greeks, romans, tartars, and later slavic peoples. ancient routes from china passed through here. the smelting pot produced a
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wealth of arts and culture, and now, it falls victim to a nationalist conflict. >> when the referendum was held one month ago, the simple question on the questionnaire was -- are you for or against independence? we are not talking about crimea. we are talking about a referendum that was held right in the heart of europe in italy. hundreds of years ago, the region of venetia in northern italy was an independent republic. today, many people are fed up with being under the rule of rome. they held a referendum last month on the same day as crimea. for the media in russia, it was the perfect opportunity to accuse the west of hypocrisy. while the voting crimea was criticized in strongest terms, the region of venetia was allowed to have one. not much happened even after the italian police discovered that one group had been preparing for more hands-on action.
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>> for months, they were kept under surveillance. in a warehouse, police cameras recorded these self-styled freedom fighters converting a bulldozer into a makeshift armored vehicle. the public prosecutors suspect the group of planning and operation much like the 117 years ago when they occupied the piazza san marco in venice for several hours. eight people were arrested. the operation resulted in two weeks of pretrial custody for the organizers. >> all our 24 activist did was make a tractor a bit sturdier -- all our activists did. they were going to destroy a statue of an italian freedom fighter. nobody here likes him. but nobody was out to injure
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anyone or attack any authorities . this has nothing to do with terrorism. we are not an armed group or whatever the state prosecutor is labeling us as. >> for months now, the group has been confronting the police in one protest after another. they even managed to disrupt freight traffic between northern and southern italy with roadblocks. >> we live in a state that robs and steals from us every day, every month, every year, that takes away three quarters of whatever we produce and earn. it cannot go on like this. if we do not want to go on living with this parasite that sucks our blood dry, then we will have to kill it. >> the self-described separatists invoked the
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historical republic of venice. they hope to bring it back and see the region break away from rome. their actions are aimed at provoking and shaking up the italian authorities. >> even if rome were to say what we are calling for is not constitutional, the police here will not have the courage to crack down on us. we are going to put it to the people quite democratically. if we get 51% in favor, we will say goodbye to italy. >> another grassroots initiative a few weeks before gave them hope and encouragement. the people and their dissatisfaction with rome's policies at over 120 polling stations -- the people aired their dissatisfaction. >> after five years of economic crisis, we do not expect anything more from italy. we are just trying to save
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ourselves from certain ruin. >> under the present circumstances, there are hardly any venetians left who do not want to break away. that's because of the miserable economic conditions. the economy is not working anymore. the tax system is oppressive, and the justice system is failing to provide security for the citizens. >> some 2 million of the region's 5 million citizens are reported to have voted for independence, but that may well be an expression of a desire for greater financial autonomy. for years, italy's more prosperous north has been funding the struggling south. >> our strength lies in the staunch support of the voters. we act peaceably and democratically. we call it the digital revolution with a smile. we do not want to give rome any reason to classify us as an
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enemy. >> the initiator of the online referendum is calling not for armed resistance, but for more taxpayer money to remain in the region. many factories here in the industrial area have stood idle since the economic crisis hit italy. one man says that last year alone, 32 troubled is this owners -- troubled business owners committed suicide. many venetians see the separatist movement as an ideal platform for drawing attention to the problems of the region. >> a relative of mine has a factory. he says his workers are not just employees, they are good friends like members of the family. if you cannot pay their wages anymore, cannot feed your family anymore, you cannot show yourself in public he cause it would be an enormous loss of face.
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>> thousands of small businesses in the region have closed their doors in the past five years. many business owners may not take the separatists very seriously, but nearly all of them feel abandoned by the government in rome. >> we have always excelled because of flexible corporate structure. 98% of the enterprises have fewer than 20 employers. they could not get by without a functioning infrastructure and economic system. that's the true reason behind the revolt and the calls for secession. the people want a state that works and supports them. >> the separatist movement has surprisingly strong popular support, but little chance of overcoming the constitutional obstacles to their demands, so the republic may well remain a
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dream and a memory of bygone glory. >> tens of thousands take to the streets in spain regularly in protest. unemployment is still high, and spaniards are still angry about the government's austerity measures. in order to rescue banks and reduce public debt, drastic cuts have been made in health, research, and education. as if all of that was not enough, the conservative government in madrid has introduced a controversial new bill that has quickly become the subject of public scorn. the government plans to severely tighten abortion laws. abortions are legal under the current system until the 14th week, but if the new law is passed, they will only be allowed under very special circumstances. >> these women are voicing their anger in front of the french embassy in madrid. spain's government is seeking to
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pass severe restrictions on abortion rights. if that happens, spanish women who want to terminate a pregnancy may soon need to travel abroad. under the new bill, abortion would be permitted only under exceptional circumstances. in all other cases, it would be a crime. >> what's happening its pain right now is a black mark in europe. the new law would be extremely unusual. elsewhere in europe, they respect women's right to choose. >> an abortion clinic in madrid -- since 2010, abortions have been allowed here without restrictions until the 14th week of advancing. spain's abortion rate is within the european average, but spain's conservatives have opposed the country's liberal abortion rights law from the start. now they are eager to see it overturned. she must advise her patience that in the future, women will only be able to obtain abortion
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in case of rape or if the woman's life is at risk. this patient, who wants to remain anonymous, says her mother and grandmother fought for abortion rights. now the conservatives want to turn the clock back 30 years. many in spain say the planned reforms are a throwback to the country's right wing dictatorship. under franco, spanish women were subject to discrimination. they were not allowed to have their own bank accounts or travel abroad without their husbands' permission. spanish society has changed radically in recent decades. the liberal abortion rights law was just one sign of that transformation. under the proposed reform, doctors who carry out abortions considered illegal would have their licenses revoked and face prison for up to three years.
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>> this new law is indicative of serious mistrust for women in general and toward doctors in particular. even though our conviction is no one should feel pressured to have an abortion, it should be a matter of personal choice. >> mass demonstrations have been taking place for weeks now. opinion polls show that the percent of spaniards are opposed to the draft bill -- 80% of spaniards are opposed to the draft bill. but spain's ruling party and prime minister are standing firm . after years of austerity measures, the new law is seen as an attempt to appease the party's disgruntled right-wing. even within the party's moderate supporters, many have expressed misgivings, but the justice ministry is undeterred. >> this is a progressive project that will protect those who are
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the most defenseless in our society -- the unborn. public surveys do not play a role here. >> the minister of justice turned down the request for an interview. the catholic church and conservative organizations have a major voice in the debate. this organization provides assistance to needy pregnant women. they also run a network of welfare centers across the country. they have organized many demonstrations against the existing liberal abortion laws. as far as they are concerned, the reform still does not go far enough. >> the new law would be a step in the right direction because it denies women the right to kill their own babies. that is something, at least. >> but these staunch activists want an absolute and on abortions with no exceptions at
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all -- an absolute ban on abortions. most observers say the government has miscalculated. most spaniards are far more liberal. >> even within the government, many say this proposed law is a political disaster. it does not appease the right wing, and it alienates many of the rest. surveys show the party is losing support. >> so isabel will continue to take to the streets on behalf of abortion rights. meanwhile, spain has reawakened a bitter debate that most other european countries settled long ago. >> some 10 million to 12 million roma live in europe, and integration into society continues to be a problem in most countries, especially in
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the east of the european union. most roma live in isolated echo-like neighborhoods. -- ghetto-like neighborhoods. in slovakia, roma are the largest minority, but every few have a steady job. instead, most families live on welfare jobs. most families depend on school benefits, which the government pays for every child who goes to school regularly. that means the classrooms in slum areas -- some areas of slovakia are getting seriously crowded. >> she gets ready for school with a little help from her mom. it is noon, and she has to hurry. while the school day is winding up her other children, hers is just beginning. her classes start at 1:00 p.m., and it's quite a way from the romany settlement to the school. today, it takes even longer than
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usual as our tv crew attracts plenty of attention. the settlement where nikola lives is located on the outskirts of the village. some 5000 roma live here, and on average, a new baby is born every other day. it is not unusual for families here to have 10 children. almost no one here has a steady paying job. most live from social assistance, child benefits, and the school bonus. the state pays 17.20 euros a month to families with school-age children. the kids also get a free lunch, but they must attend classes regularly. since the plan began, schools in eastern slovakia have been bursting at the seams. >> when i started here as a teacher in 1983, the school had around 500 peoples. half for slovakian, half roma.
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now, we have 1500s coolidge roma children and just 60 non-roma children -- 1500 school-age roma children. i consider this to be reversible and do not even want to think about what will happen in 15 to 20 years time, but when i try to make school authorities aware of the problem, no one wants to listen. >> the children are taught in two shifts -- upper grades attend classes in the mornings, and primary schoolchildren in the afternoons. 200 24 first graders attend school here, all roma like nikola -- 224 first graders. teaching here is a real challenge. >> it's incredibly difficult to hold her attention and teach them the basic material, the bare necessities. you can see this or yourself. i turn my back for five minutes, and it's chaos already. >> not only that, most pupils barely speak a word of slovakian .
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nikola can only show us how old she is. when we ask what she likes best about school, she only understands the question after her teacher translates it. "reading," she replies, a bit embarrassed. when these children graduate, they will likely suffer the same fate as their older siblings -- being unemployed, despite having a diploma. here, even having good grades cannot make up or having a darker skin color. prejudices against roma are deep rooted at all levels of slovakian society. nikola's teacher discovered this when she told friends she was going to teach at a school for roma. >> their first reaction was always, "careful that you don't get lice," and all the usual stuff, but they grown used to it. >> a roma expert says that unfortunately, getting a high school diploma does not significantly improve roma's chances of getting a good job.
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he says integration has failed, and both sides are to blame. >> roma are the second largest minority in slovakia. yet, they do not have any mother-tongue schools like the hungarian or ukrainian minorities do. the school system must adapt to the roma's specific situation right away. there are a few schools and teachers who have understood this and adopted lessons accordingly with very good results, but they are just individual cases. not a system. >> slowly, the government in bratislava is realizing slovakian society faces a social and economic breakdown. roma currently make up around 10% of the population, but 30 years from now, they will comprise half of it. slovakia cannot afford not to integrate them. so the government has sent a delegation to assess the situation.
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>> these children are lively, healthy, bright. they can make a contribution to slovakia, but that is up to us. if their parents have little chance in the job market, we need to pave the way to allow their children to have a better life. whether they will be an enrichment or a burden is up to us. slovakia has done many things wrong, so we've got a big challenge ahead of us. >> at 4:00 p.m., the school day is over. it's getting dark, and she wants to head home quickly. she heads off into an uncertain future. >> that report wraps up this edition of [applause] -- that report wraps up this edition of "european journal." remember, you can watch all of our reports online at dw.
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de/europeanjournal. until next time, auf wiede rsehen and bye for now. captioned by the national captioning institute
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[captioning made possible by democracy now!] from pacifica this is democracy now. >> we have a fundamental standard in this country. it must be carried out. i think everyone would recognize that this case a fell short of that standard. as outrage grows over oklahoma's botched execution of clayton lockett, we will speak to the attorney for the other prisoner who was scheduled to be killed